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Quotations about Golf



It is a remarkable game... There is no sensation in the world quite equal to that which comes to a man's soul when he has hit the ball a solid clip and sees it sail off through the air towards the green, whizzing musically along like a very bird. ~John Kendrick Bangs, "Golf in Hades," The Enchanted Type-Writer, 1899


The desire to knock a ball about, to play silly games with a stick, comes upon a man most keenly when he is happy. ~A. A. Milne, "The Charm of Golf," 1910s


Golf is a subtle game. Primarily, it is a device for getting a half hour's exercise in two hours and a half. ~Roger I. Lee, "Health and Fitness at Fifty," in Hygeia: The Health Magazine of the American Medical Association, 1942


All animosities are buried in the general love of golf, and every one of us, high or low, autocrat and revolutionist, is hobnobbing away in peace and happiness on the links. ~John Kendrick Bangs, "Golf in Hades," The Enchanted Type-Writer, 1899


Strong language directed against the Bunkers is always permissible. They are responsible for so many horrible lies. ~Gideon Wurdz (Charles Wayland Towne), "Sports," Eediotic Etiquette, 1906


To lose one's temper at golf is foolish. It gets you nothing, not even relief. ~P.G. Wodehouse, "Ordeal by Golf," c.1920


"Whatever may befall thee," says that great man Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations, "it was preordained for thee from everlasting. Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear." I like to think that this noble thought came to him after he had sliced a couple of new balls into the woods, and that he jotted it down on the back of his score-card. ~P.G. Wodehouse, "Ordeal by Golf," c.1920


From exercise keen, from strength active and bold,
We traverse the green, and forget to grow old...
~"The Golfer's Garland" of the Blackheath Golf Club, 1700s


Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad... And sometimes I am tempted to go further and say that it is a better game for the bad player than for the good player... Every stroke we bad players make we make in hope. It is never so bad but it might have been worse; it is never so bad but we are confident of doing better next time. And if the next stroke is good, what happiness fills our soul... The only thing which can vary in the good player's game is his putting, and putting is not golf but croquet. ~A. A. Milne, "The Charm of Golf," 1910s


Golf is just a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic. ~Fran Allison, 1950s


You can spend hours learning how to drive, weeks to approach, and months to putt. But if you want to win at golf, you must know how to count. ~John Kendrick Bangs, "Golf in Hades," The Enchanted Type-Writer, 1899  [a little altered —tg]


The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. ~Will Rogers


But chief, thee, O  GOLFINIA! I implore;
High as thy balls instruct my Muse to soar:
So may thy green forever crowded be,
And balls on balls invade the azure sky.
~Thomas Mathison, "The Goff: An Heroi-Comical Poem," 1743


Ardent they grasp the ball-compelling clubs,
And stretch their arms t'attack the little globes.
~Thomas Mathison, "The Goff: An Heroi-Comical Poem," 1743


As a matter of fact, golf is the most rigid tester of will-power in the world. ~Arnold Haultain, 1910


He dreamed that he played on a phantom links
      Where nothing went ever wrong,
Where his putts were bold, but were always holed,
      And his cleek shots wondrous long;
Where he stood hole-high with a perfect lie
From a drive that was straight and strong.
~Alfred Cochrane, "The Golfer's Dream," Leviore Plectro, 1896  [after Longfellow —tg]


Golf is not a reducing exercise, as a glimpse of golfers against the skyline will disclose! ~Roger I. Lee, "Health and Fitness at Fifty," in Hygeia: The Health Magazine of the American Medical Association, 1942


In the whole catalogue of sport, Golf is the only game that really spreads itself. Like Chicago, it sprawls all over the landscape, taking in two or three townships and half the country. A Scotch shepherd's staff and a stray pebble started the whole fuss, and now it's all Scotch, from the links to the liquids thereof. ~Gideon Wurdz (Charles Wayland Towne), "Sports," Eediotic Etiquette, 1906


Playing golf is too much like walking from New York to San Francisco with a hockey stick in your hands. ~Puck, 1895  [a little altered —tg]


The optimist sees a green near every sand trap; the pessimist sees a sand trap never every green. ~William Arthur Ward (1921–1994)


Men trifle with their business and their politics; but they never trifle with their games. Golf gives them at least a weekend of earnest concentration. It brings truth home to them. They cannot pretend that they have won when they have lost, nor that they made a magnificent drive when they foozled it. ~Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)


      Boswell explained, "Peter Stuyvesant always drives with his wooden leg. He screws the small end of it into a square block shod like a brassey, tees up his ball, goes back ten yards, makes a run at it and kicks the ball pretty nearly out of sight."
      Roared I, "But he doesn't call that golf, does he? I should call it football."
      "Not at all," Boswell replied. "He hasn't any foot on that leg, and he has a golf-club head with a shaft to it. There isn't any rule which says that the shaft shall not look like an inverted nine-pin, nor do any of the accepted authorities require that a club shall be manipulated by the arms." ~John Kendrick Bangs, "Golf in Hades," The Enchanted Type-Writer, 1899  [altered —tg]


Golfers don't lie. Realists don't lie. Nobody in polite — or say, rather, accepted — society lies. They all imagine. They are imaginers. ~John Kendrick Bangs, "Golf in Hades," The Enchanted Type-Writer, 1899  [a little altered —tg]


We putt, we drive, we laugh, we chat,
      Our strokes and jokes aye clinking,
We banish all extraneous fat,
      And all extraneous thinking.
We'll cure you of a summer cold,
      Or of a winter cough, boys,
We'll make you young, even when you're old,
      So come and play at Golf, boys.
~James Ballantine, "A Golfing Song," 1800s


Golf is long, and life is fleeting... ~Aleister Crowley, 1907


Yes, when the broken head
      Bounds further than the ball,
The heart has inly bled.
Ah! and the lips have said
      Words we would fain recall—
Wild words, of passion bred!
~Andrew Lang, "Ode to Golf," Ban and Arrière Ban: A Rally of Fugitive Rhymes, 1894


If you watch a game, it's fun; if you play it, it's recreation; if you work at it, it's golf. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968


All cannot play golf, but the humblest may carry a few sticks in a canvas bag and look solemn. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


I always grow sarcastic when golf is mentioned. ~John Kendrick Bangs, "Golf in Hades," The Enchanted Type-Writer, 1899


Golf, like measles, should be caught young, for, if postponed to riper years, the results may be serious... A lifetime of observing my fellow-creatures has convinced me that Nature intended us all to be golfers. In every human being the germ of golf is implanted at birth, and suppression causes it to grow and grow till — it may be at forty, fifty, sixty — it suddenly bursts its bonds and sweeps over the victim like a tidal wave. The wise man, who begins to play in childhood, is enabled to let the poison exude gradually from his system, with no harmful results. ~P.G. Wodehouse, "A Mixed Threesome," c.1920


Welcome, grave Stranger, to our green retreats,
Where health with exercise and freedom meets!...
~Walter Scott, "The Poacher," 1809  [written in imitation of Crabbe —tg]


Have you ever played golf during a hurricane? It's the first time I ever got a hole in none. ~Robert Orben, 2400 Jokes to Brighten Your Speeches, 1984


A well-adjusted person is one who can play golf and bridge as if they were the same games. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968


Golf is like the game of living; it will show up what you are;
If you take your troubles badly you will never play to par.
You may be a fine performer when your skies are bright and blue
But disaster is the acid that shall prove the worth of you;
So just meet your disappointments with a cheery sort of grin,
For the man who keeps his temper is the man that's sure to win.
~Edgar A. Guest, "A Lesson from Golf," The Path to Home, 1919


He couldn't use his driver any better on the tee
Than the chap that he was licking, who just happened to be me;
I could hit them with a brassie just as straight and just as far,
But I piled up several sevens while he made a few in par;
And he trimmed me to a finish, and I know the reason why:
He could keep his temper better when he dubbed a shot than I.
~Edgar A. Guest, "A Lesson from Golf," The Path to Home, 1919


The uglier a man's legs are the better he plays golf. It's almost a law. ~H.G. Wells, Bealby, 1915


[T]o play golf is to spoil an otherwise enjoyable walk. ~Attributed to "the Allens," as quoted by H.S. Scrivener in Lawn Tennis at Home and Abroad, 1903, Arthur Wallis Myers, ed., commonly attributed to Mark Twain as "Golf is a good walk spoiled."  [quoteinvestigator.com]


Golfer: One who putters around. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)


...while here we march
Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.
~William Shakespeare, Richard II, c.1595  [III, 3, Henry IV, 😄]


I'll call for clubs... ~William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I, c.1591  [I, 3, Lord Mayor of London 😂]


...they
Doubly redoubled strokes...
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth, c.1605  [I, 2, Sergeant 😁]


Then fill up your glass, and let each social soul
Drink to the putter, the balls, and the hole...
~"The Golfer's Garland" of the Blackheath Golf Club, 1700s


Golf is the crack of sports. If you hit five good shots, you know you can hit six good shots. The next time you hit six good shots, you know you can hit seven. ~Alice Cooper, interview with Cal Fussman, 2008 August 2nd, for Esquire's January 2009 eighth annual Meaning of Life issue


President Taft kin take a vacation, but th' plain people have t' stay at home an' read his golf scores. ~Abe Martin (Kin Hubbard, 1868–1930)


The ideal country stick... it must be thick yet thin enough to make a pleasant whistling sound through the air; it must be curved and yet straight; it must work for both walking and for sitting. It must be possible to grasp it by the wrong end and hit a ball with it... In this way was golf born; its creator roamed the fields after his picnic lunch, knocking along the cork from his bottle. At first he took seventy-nine from the gate in one field to the oak tree in the next; afterwards fifty-four. Then suddenly he saw the game. ~A. A. Milne, "The Charm of Golf," 1910s


It's rare at the beginning of the twenty-first century to find a piece of golf equipment that doesn't owe at least part of its design to Karsten Solheim. ~Tracy Sumner, Karsten's Way, 2000  [engineer, inventor, golf club designer, and founder of PING —tg]


If I've got a swing, I've got a shot. ~Bubba Watson, 2012  ["'Bubba golf' — a dash of juvenile, a dash of genius, and a full cup of cocky." ~Sharyn Alfonsi, 2016 —tg]


      "The great secret of any shot at golf is ease, elegance, and the ability to relax. The majority of men, you will find, think it important that their address should be good."
      "How snobbish! What does it matter where a man lives?"
      "You don't absolutely follow me. I refer to the waggle and the stance before you make the stroke." ~P.G. Wodehouse, "A Woman Is Only a Woman," c.1920


Members will refrain from picking up lost balls until they have stopped rolling. ~Sign on a Scottish golf course, quoted in "Laffodontia," Oral Hygiene, 1921


A golfer's diet: Live on greens as much as possible. ~Author unknown


An' nen he showed us little holes
All bored there in the ground...
~James Whitcomb Riley, "The Doodle-Bug's Charm," 1892  [about insects, not golf courses —tg]


If I hit it right, it's a slice. If I hit it left, it's a hook. If I hit it straight, it's a miracle. ~Author unknown


I've spent most of my life golfing — the rest I've just wasted. ~Author unknown


Gone golfin' — be back at dark thirty. ~Golf saying


Born to golf. Forced to work. ~Golf joke


What most people don't understand is that UFOs are on a cosmic tourist route. That's why they're always seen in Arizona, Scotland, and New Mexico. Another thing to consider is that all three of those destinations are good places to play golf. So there's possibly some connection between aliens and golf. ~Alice Cooper, interview with Cal Fussman, 2008 August 2nd, for Esquire's January 2009 eighth annual Meaning of Life issue


American golf is an inland game, and very largely, a windless game. ~Bernard Darwin, "American and British Golf," 1923


In high midsummer at St. Andrews, golf is an all-pervading, all-ruling, unsleeping deity. ~Bernard Darwin, "The Charm and Exasperation of St. Andrews," 1923


LINKS.  Found in sausages and golf courses, and both full of hazards. ~Gideon Wurdz (Charles Wayland Towne), The Foolish Dictionary, 1904


I go to a very patriotic golf course. Every time I call them up to reserve a starting time, their answer is: "Oh, say, can you tee by the dawn's early light?" ~Robert Orben, 2400 Jokes to Brighten Your Speeches, 1984


      "Couldn't you learn to control yourself on the links, Mitchell, darling?" asked Millicent. "After all, golf is only a game!"
      Mitchell's eyes met mine, and I have no doubt that mine showed just the same look of horror which I saw in his. Women say these things without thinking. It does not mean that there is any kink in their character. They simply don't realise what they are saying. ~P. G. Wodehouse, "Ordeal by Golf," c.1920


Husbands are things that wives have to get used to putting up with,
And with whom they breakfast with and sup with...
And when it's a question of walking five miles to play golf they are very energetic but if it's doing anything useful around the house they are very lethargic,
And then they tell you that women are unreasonable and don't know anything about logic...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "What Almost Every Woman Knows Sooner or Later"


I used to be his all in all,
As he himself confesses;
But I've a rival now—the ball
He constantly addresses.
~L. S., "The Golf-Widow's Lament," 1890


WIDOW.  The wife of a golfer during the open season, unless she golfs, too. In that event the children are golf orphans. ~Gideon Wurdz (Charles Wayland Towne), The Foolish Dictionary, 1904





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